Tibetan medicine is one of the oldest and continuously practiced medical traditions in the world. This has been practiced for over 2500 years and is still practiced today. Tibetan medical tradition has developed its own unique healing practices. Tibetan medicine is gradually being brought into the limelight as Tibetan culture draws much public attention both at home and abroad.
Tibetan medicine is a science, art and philosophy that provide a holistic approach to health care. It is a science because its principles are enumerated in a systematic and logical framework based on an understanding of the body and its relationship to the environment. It is an art because it uses diagnostic techniques based on the creativity, insight, subtlety and compassion of the medical practitioner.
Tibetan medicine is one of the five major science, and it is called gSoba Rig-pa , the science of healing. Tibetan come up with their own approach to medical science. All material, which makes up our universe, is based on the qualities of 5 basic elements namely earth, air, fire, water and space, which are described in the ancient physics depicted in Tibetan medicine. These elements interact with each other, is deemed as the cause of disease and disorders in Tibetan medical tradition. The cure lies in the capability of balancing these elements. Good health also depends on the proper balance of diet, behavior, environment, and psychological and social factors, according to the Tibetan medical system. Tibetans, as all traditional people, lived in direct contact with the natural environment. They understood through experience and study that the forces manifest in the natural environment directly correlated with and influenced the functioning of the human organism.
So, we can define Tibetan medicine as an integral form of medicine that strives to maintain the equilibrium of the forces within the body. The human being is considered as part of nature, and equal importance is attached to both physical symptoms and mental health. The special thing is that Tibetan remedies are made up of many different natural components.
The special thing is that Tibetan medicine is made up of many different natural components. Tibet has been looked upon as the land of medicine and medicinal plants. Tibetan medicine is the synthesis of the most important traditional medical systems of Asia. Diagnostic techniques used in Tibetan medical tradition basically involve interviewing of the patient, urinalysis, and pulse reading and looks at symptoms as indications of an imbalance in the body and seeks to restore that balance.
Tibetans even applied Thangka illustrations many centuries ago to explain their medical theory through intuition. Some of the ancient medical Thangkas can still be found in Mentsekhang in Lhasa today. (Thangka, seen in every monastery and family shrine in Tibet, is actually kind of Tibetan scroll-banner painting and a unique art of Tibetan culture. Thangka generally falls into several categories according to techniques involved, namely painted Thangka, weaving Thangka, embroidery Thangka, paster Thangka, and etc.